Minimalissimo


Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.


M Residence is yet another stunning dwelling by acclaimed architecture firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates. Completed in 2013 and located in Fukui, Japan, M Residence is a remarkably simple home for two families. One half of the structure houses a young couple and child, while the other is home to the child’s grandmother. Both halves of the home are nearly identical. The interiors feature an open-floor plan. The lack of walls lends a fluidity to the space and cuts out cumbersome square footage. Furniture is limited to only the necessities. Sliding panels are placed along the southern wall of the home, allowing the space easy exposure to the outdoors. Shared spaces include the porch, car park, and garden. M Residence is the perfect solution to living with extended family. Both families can enjoy the comfort and convenience of living so close, yet their divided spaces can easily feel a world apart. That Shinichi Ogawa & Associates were able to achieve this while maintaining the design’s effortless and minimal aesthetic is equally impressive.


Swedish designer Thomas Sandell celebrates the beauty of marble with his Melt Bookcase. Originally from Finland, his architectural and design background has found him responsible for numerous subtle minimalist industrial design pieces. The piece was produced for the Marsotto Edizioni collection, and is made from white carrara marble, with a matt polished finish. The piece is also available in a black marble, and measures 70cm x 37cm x 90cm high. Since graduating with his Masters in Architecture, Sandell has been challenging the conventional design business model. His work includes several acclaimed interiors, contributing to a portfolio of commercial and residential work with gusto. His industrial pieces have also seen mass acclaim throughout Europe, and rightly so, together with a healthy body of international published work. Photography courtesy of Miro Zagnoli.


Hampus Hoh — @hampushoh — is a Swedish student and blogger at online magazine, Radar. Besides studying, Hampus works at a clothing store in his home town. He is also very passionate about arts and photography. And it is Hampus’s photography that we are excited to introduce to you today, gaining an interesting insight into how his stylish collection materialised. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? Minimalism is not only about what is essential, it is also about what is natural and untouched. I’m drawn to things that are raw and unedited by humans. This might not always seem the most minimal, but it is a significant part of my photography. I believe the common definition in most of my photos would be effortless and slightly off. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Having lived in Scandinavia my whole life, I am by nature drawn to tranquil surroundings. A clear space often equals a clear mind to me, which is what I want when I really need focus. On the other hand, people, movement and noise can be very inspirational. When and how do you decide to take a photo? Whenever I see something that I...


Casa No Tempo is a family farm passed down through the generations that underwent a renovation under the care of Joao Rodrigues and family, with the architect Manuel Aires Mateus. The now-converted home stay is located on a magnificent site an hour south of Lisbon in Montemor o Novo, Alentejo, known as the unspoiled Portugal with the pristine landscapes filled with oak and olive trees. The connection to the earth and the surrounding terrain is a significant part of the design in this house. The expanse of the landscape fill the rooms with views of cork trees, pastures, wild fields, dams, ponds and streams through the massive windows. While the clean, minimalist architecture details allow nature to make its presence within, modern interior fixtures and fittings allow this rural getaway to be most comfortable and luxurious. I cannot help but fall in love with all the simple yet significant touches of this farmhouse. The frameless openings of the interior emphasizes the depth of the rooms, making the height of the rooms feel infinite like the sky above. Instead of tiles, the swimming pool is spread with a sand colored plaster right up to the edge, emulating a shore line that compliments the farmhouse in site. I hope to visit this beautiful site one...


I really have no words to express my fascination by Richard Serra‘s latest work — East-West/West-East — a permanent sculptural installation in Qatar’s desert, approximately 60 kilometers from Doha at the Brouq Nature Reserve. The installation is a set of four 50ft steel towers that connect the two seas and the two parts of this ancient landscape. Serra explains: The placement is not geometrical, it’s topological; they can only be placed where they are to achieve the curvature of the land. If one walks through the pieces; he will understand not only the rhythm of himself in relationship to the landscape but also the rhythm of himself in relationship to the height and the length of the pieces. Serra has developed this stunning installation, even though it is situated in the middle of the desert, and is quite possibly the largest scene where he has expressed his art work. Photography by Sally Crane.


The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban created an innovative, minimalist and elegant floor lamp for FontanaArte, named Yumi. In Japanese, Yumi means “bow” and that is exactly what this floor lamp looks like. Delicate, the stem is only 10mm thick, and strong. A clean design and simple shape that blends into a lightweight structure. The slim shape was made possible by the use of LED lights, integrated in the black composite and carbon fibre coated structure. The base is made of black lacquered metal. All wiring is hidden within. I love that. I think a lamp with such a minimalist appearance fits in any environment. Would it fit in your interior? It is said Shigeru Ban is not interested in the newest materials and techniques in designsbut he is definitely innovative and need the newest tools to make his ideas come alive. The fact Ban was the first architect in Japan to construct a building out of paper illustrates his innovative thinking.


One of world’s most prolific studios, Nendo, recently unveiled another beautiful minimalist design. Snap Glasses are made from light, flexible polycarbonate resin and envisioned for those of us who need reading and computer spectacles. When folded, they snap onto the nose supports (hence the name), which allows them to stay in place and create a thin profile. Another fun element is the interchangeable arms, that detach at the temples, so you can enjoy different colour combinations. The available colours are black, red, beige, grey, matte brown, matte green, matte blue and matte dark grey. Snap Glasses are  exclusively available from Seibu department stores.


Villa E is a luxury Moroccan home designed by Studio KO. Studio KO is formed of architects Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, and the firm is based in both Paris and Morocco. Their architectural style expertly blends eastern and western design. Villa E is a lodge located at the base of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Viewed from below, the home appears to be a castle or fortress looming above the rugged countryside. But step closer and you’ll find a warm and comforting home with a distinct style. The facade is of Villa E is covered in Ouriko stone, a red, brick-like stone which is locally sourced and characteristic to the architecture of the region. The windows are carefully placed to create the most airflow and eliminate direct sunlight. In a hot climate such as Morocco’s architects must tailor their designs around the powerful desert sun. The interior features high quality materials such as marble and slate, as well as traditional Moroccan furnishings and artwork. And of course, every room with an oversize window is arranged to maximize the stunning view of the mountains. Villa E is perfectly suited to its harsh environment. I love how the design can be traditional and contemporary, luxurious and minimal. Every element pairs together effortlessly for...


The Stickbulb collection from RUX brings the ability to customize lamps to the masses. And customize in a seriously slick way. Co-founded in 2012 by Russell Greenberg and Christopher Beardsley, RUX is a fusion of minimal lines, inter-connective elements and where the design of the object is in the hands of the end user. I think this is ingenious. The resulting aesthetic is also nothing short of beautiful. The collection is a combination of pendants, wall scones, table lamps and floor lamps. The primary design philosophy of the range is that it is a pure and minimal expression. I couldn’t agree more. The construction of each lighting option is a sleek wooden beam, available in varying lengths. Interchangeable connector pieces allows for multiple sticks to be placed together, to create a feature, or to attach to walls, and to illuminate any space. The wood used is reclaimed and sustainably sourced and is coupled with efficient LED technology. The collection was designed with the least number of parts possible with connections that make the pieces easy to separate for maintenance, recycling, or reuse. These are seriously note-worthy. Available from Rux. Photography courtesy of Rux.


Bottle Watch is a wonderfully minimalist, analogue wristwatch with raised nodules around its glass perimeter, similar to those found on the bottom of a glass beverage bottle. The watch was designed by London based studio Industrial Facility for Italian accessories company, Nava. The designers explain: We noticed that there are often exactly sixty of these nodules found on a typical beer bottle where the function is to avoid suction between the bottle and a table surface. This observation makes a useful correlation to the units of timekeeping and replicating these nodules creates a strikingly iridescent appearance when light hits its face at different angles. Bottle Watch is available in brown ale, green wine, clear spirit and blue water — colours that follow typical glass bottles. Although these colours don’t overly appeal to me, I do think this is a super concept.


British Fashion Designer Charlie May, advocate of minimalism since launching her first collection in 2010, keeps on refining her style with her immaculate A/W 14 collection. A bold but carefully designed black and white contrast plays well alongside monochrome looks, which come alive through the use of distinctly chosen fabric textures. The silhouettes range from feminine to Garconne, while the styling allows a thought of 50′s college girl attitude. Sharp outlines, classic pieces and a relaxed but very confident composure are the core ingredients to this immaculate collection. I really embrace Charlie May’s effortless style of comfortable yet intricate pieces, which should easily last many seasons. On the one hand there is a very personal handwriting in the way she designs her collection, on the other, every piece of the line should integrate well with any individual look of her customers. That is the craftsmanship of design in full bloom.